Buick Cancels Saturn Vue-Based Crossover

#Buick, #Vue

The people have spoken. After receiving what it describes as “consistent” negative feedback, General Motors has scrapped the idea of rebadging the Saturn Vue as a Buick.

GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens had first revealed the plan two weeks ago at a business conference in Traverse City, Michigan.

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology,” Stephens said at the time, “so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover.”

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Stephens’ tune changed this afternoon, when he took to GM’s FastLane blog to reveal the idea has been nixed.

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">“The Buick crossover we showed received consistent feedback from large parts of all the audiences that it didn’t fit the premium characteristics that customers have come to expect from Buick,” Stephens wrote. “We were all struck by the consistency of the criticism of the compact crossover.”

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Stephens said the feedback was discussed at a meeting of GM’s Executive Committee last Friday, and decided “it didn’t belong. Buick crossover canceled.

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">"Fritz Henderson, Bob Lutz and I and the rest of the committee decided to take swift action to prevent a potential underperformer from reaching the marketplace.”

Stephens said this doesn’t affect development of another Buick crossover--the so-called “baby Enclave”--and that GM’s 2-Mode hybrid system would be applied to another vehicle (our money’s on another Theta-platform variant, like the Chevrolet Equinox or GMC Terrain). Stephens also views this decision as “proof, in my eyes, that the new GM is listening and moving quickly.”

We hope that proves to be the case. Say, have we ever mentioned how good the G8 would be as a Chevrolet?

<;P class=MsoNormal target="_blank">Source: GM FastLane

In theory, this wasn't a bad idea. The Theta platform is a great vehicle that seems right for the current market, especially with the 2-mode power train. Where it went wrong was that they just slapped a waterfall grill and Buick badge on a Vue. Perhaps if they had used the Captiva (which uses slightly different body styling) it might of gone over better.As for the G8, I don't think anyone really wants it badge engineered into a Buick or Chevy either. The platform (and all the development that went into it) could be saved for the North American market quite easily though. There are already derivatives of this platform which could use the platform and chassis development that went into turning the Commodore into the G8. The Holden Caprice could easily be a Chevy or Buick and keep the spirit of the G8 alive in America.

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